Shadow Self

Time to Unload

I look at my watch and realize I am late. I need to be at the airport in 20 minutes but that is impossible. I am at least a 20 minute drive from the terminal and I haven’t even finished packing. My belongings are spread out all over my bed and my suitcase is already too full and much too heavy. I try to focus and pull myself together but I am quickly in an all out panic and completely overwhelmed. My mind begins to scramble and I lose any remaining mental control. I am going to miss my flight. Of that, I am certain.

I have had this recurring dream over the years and it successfully illustrates how I feel at times. I am an ambitious Capricorn and have always been striving for a higher plane. I know I have it in me to soar to greater heights, I just don’t know how to get there and sometimes it feels like I am carrying too much.

I have been reflecting on this theme recently because I have chosen the 10 of Wands repeatedly over the past month in my daily Tarot card draw. 

The 10 of Wands suggests that we may be moving with too large a burden and that this load may be unnecessary and holding us back from realizing our dreams.  It asks us to reflect on our situation and lighten things up by prioritizing, accepting help, and letting go of outdated and potentially harmful patterns, behaviors, and relationships. It says that our burdens come in a variety of forms including material, spiritual, literal, emotional, and energetic and that if we are to arrive at the desired destination, we will need to unload.

I have felt some heavy energy surrounding my efforts lately and have noticed that most of it is self-imposed (goals I have set for myself, guilt I am working off, scattered organizational energy, unprocessed emotions). I have begun to realize that many of these energies have been with me for years and have slowed my progress. I have started questioning what would happen if I began to leave some items behind. If I dropped some of my bags, would I make it to the airport on time? 

As I consider this, I realize that perhaps it is alright to step back and enjoy the fruits of my labors without carrying any guilt. Perhaps it is better to face my emotions head on and provide time, space, and self care so that I am able to process and release the sadness, hurt, and loss instead of continuing to bring it along, and even though it’s hard to let go of familiar patterns, maybe it’s healthier to say good-bye to those that are no longer working.

In the process of determining what to keep and what to unload, I have found it valuable to observe all that makes me happy and gives me joy. These are the things I want to add to my bag because they are light and propel me forward, and they are indicators that we are on our truest path. 

Everything else can go. 

Of course, there will be negative and difficult situations, emotions, and energies along the way, but I know that the quicker I can identify, process and integrate or let go, the smoother and more successful the journey will be (to begin manifesting your desired life journey, click here https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/). 

As we head towards the New Moon on April 11th, it is the perfect time to reflect on what loads we are carrying and if they are a necessary part of the voyage or are hindering our progress. We are the creators of our lives and if we want to travel to exciting destinations, it may be wise to let go of unnecessary cargo so that we can move along more freely with ease, flow, and unlimited grace.

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

Diving Into the Shadows

Shadow

I have had the pleasure and privilege of spending the last several days in Maine on my favorite lake enjoying the sun and nature. Last night, it began to rain so my daughter and I decided to watch a movie. After scanning the selections and reviews on her computer, she suggested we watch “The Florida Project,” a 2017 slice of life drama which, according to IMDb TV, follows a “precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Walt Disney World.” 

Childhood. Adventure. Disney World. Sounds endearing, right? 

Not exactly.

I did not like the film at first. I kept waiting for the plot to unfold or an inspirational moment, but neither surfaced. Instead, I felt a mounting anxiety combined with sadness and despair as the reality of life in a poverty stricken hotel-turned-residence community exposed all the things that make me uncomfortable: poverty, lying, foul language, cheating, stealing, hustling, betrayal, fighting, child abuse, pedophilia, drug use, prostitution. 

The movie was shown through the eyes of a child who had friends, freedom, food, community and a caring mother, all of which made it more palatable. However, the stark contrast of the lives profiled to those of the privileged thousands visiting nearby Disney World, made me stop and think.

The movie did an outstanding job of portraying the reality of the situation, but I wasn’t happy with the way it left me feeling. Something was tugging at me to look deeper. 

It wasn’t until morning that I realized the importance of what I was experiencing. It became clear that the issues in the movie that made me uncomfortable were the ones I needed to examine more closely. Maybe it was time to look at what it means to lead a privileged life. Had I been turning a blind eye to the realities of those less fortunate?

With all of the recent unrest and attention pointing towards inequality and racism, my viewing of this movie was particularly timely. It became evident that the cinematic story I witnessed was one I had chosen to overlook, just as many instances of injustice get somehow justified through the selective stories we tell ourselves and the parts of our psyche we choose to keep hidden. 

I have recently been working on my own personal growth and have also started “The Life Purpose Project,” a series of one on one sessions to help people reach their life’s purpose through discussion, dream interpretation, tarot, and flower essence therapy. 

I am a believer in the power of positive thinking and healing through love. However, I have been finding that in order to truly heal and make significant progress forward, we need to look at something called our “shadow self”. 

According to an article in highexistence.com, “the shadow is a concept first coined by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung that describes those aspects of our personality that we choose to reject and repress. For one reason or another, we all have parts of ourselves that we don’t like–so we push those parts down into our unconscious psyches. It is this collection of repressed aspects of our identity that Jung referred to as our shadow.”

Full Article:  https://highexistence.com/carl-jung-shadow-guide-unconscious/

Some examples of repressed shadow tendencies include  “aggressive impulses, taboo mental images, shameful experiences, immoral urges, fears, irrational wishes, unacceptable sexual desires.” 

Our shadow self develops as a result of societal expectations that tell as we are a “bad” person if we have certain thoughts and behaviors. We want to fit in and be accepted, so we deny and hide these impulses and pretend they do not exist as parts of ourselves. On top of that, if left unchecked, these qualities feed into a larger collective societal shadow which can multiply and become more systemic, resulting in a world that tolerates prejudice, racism, abuse, and inequity.

Jung believes that these innate qualities are present in all of us and the only way to effectively deal with them is to recognize, accept, and find ways to constructively manage their presence within our lives. 

I have been using dream interpretation and the Tarot to help uncover the shadow within myself and my Life Purpose Project participants. Both methods point out areas of the subconscious that ultimately want to be seen and accepted before allowing us to move forward on our spiritual path. Meditation and identifying psychological triggers can also help shed some light.

One thing “The Florida Project” made clear was that when we look at these shadow qualities, whether within ourselves or society as a whole, the feeling can be extremely uncomfortable. It can bring us to places and uncover a world that is unnerving and painful. 

The idea is not to run and deny, but to look directly into the areas of darkness. When we do this, “fear becomes an opportunity for courage. Pain is a catalyst for strength and resilience. Aggression is transmuted into warrior-like passion. This wisdom informs our actions, our decisions, and our interactions with others..” (highexistence.com).

If we seek to accept the shadows as part of who we are, if we allow them to come forward without condemnation, we may be able to heal not only ourselves but the world as a whole, and people like those featured in the “The Florida Project” may have a fighting chance.